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Maryland Governor Race



Ehrlich (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

RealClearPolitics Snapshot
RCP Average: O'Malley +1.3 % |RCP Chart
RCP Ranking: Toss Up
Senate Race: Steele (R) vs. Cardin (D)

Polling Data

PollDateSampleEhrlich (R)O'Malley (D)Und.Spread
Final Results----46.252.7--O'Malley +6.5
RCP Average10/28 - 11/5--46.547.84.8O'Malley +1.3
SurveyUSA11/3 - 11/5663 LV47502O'Malley +3
Mason-Dixon11/1 - 11/3625 LV45459Tie
Rasmussen10/31 - 10/31500 LV48493O'Malley +1
Baltimore Sun10/28 - 10/30800 LV46475O'Malley +1

All Maryland Governor Race Polling Data

Previous Elections

2002: Ehrlich 52, Townsend 48
1998: Glendening 55, Sauerbrey 45

2004: Kerry 56, Bush 43
2000: Gore 57, Bush 40
1996: Clinton 54, Dole 38


Occupation: Blue Collar 18.1% | White Collar 67.7% | Gray Collar 14.2%

Race: White 62.1% | Black 27.7% | Hispanic 4.3% | Asian 4.0%


(November 7) We think Ehrlich has the momentum and pulls out the win. He has effectively defined O’Malley in the critical Baltimore suburbs with devastating ads attacking O’Malley’s job as mayor of Baltimore City. In a race this close, the surprise Washington Post endorsement helped Ehrlich in the closing stretch.

(November 3) We noted on Wednesday that Ehrlich was closing hard and if you have any doubt just look at the polls since the spring where O’Malley has had a lead in every single non-partisan poll by 4-16 points, until the last three independent polls, which all show a 1 point race. With the election on Tuesday, Ehrlich is peaking at exactly the right time.

(November 1) The Baltimore Sun's poll gives O'Malley a one point edge 47%-46%, Ehrlich still trails in the RCP Average by 4.7%, but that includes a Washington Post poll that over sampled heavily Democratic African Americans and shows O'Malley ahead 10 points. A positive for the Ehrlich campaign is the race is beginning to take on similarities to the 2002 campaign that Ehrlich won by 4 points, 52% - 48%. From the Baltimore Sun today:

Through expensive television and direct-mail advertising, Ehrlich appears to be convincing voters in the Baltimore suburbs that O'Malley has failed to effectively reduce crime and improve city schools. Using his huge cash advantage, the Republican governor has steadily whittled down the mayor's lead in overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland. Ehrlich was behind by 15 percentage points a year ago and by 8 points in July.
Ehrlich trailed by double digits to Townsend for months before slowly pulling ahead in the fall and winning at the end. Now 2002 was a very different year in tone for Republicans, Maryland was coming off 8 years of a less than inspiring Glendening administration, and not unimportantly, KKT was universally considered to have run an abysmal campaign. O'Malley is a considerably better campaigner and 2006 is a much better playing field for Democrats than 2002. But Ehrlich has some assets of his own in a booming state economy, an endorsement from the liberal-leaning Washington Post and a very solid approval rating at 54%.

Hard to believe heavily-Democratic Maryland has two red hot races Republicans can win in such a pro-Democratic year.

(October 27) Editorial endorsements don't matter as much as they once did, but Wednesday's surprise backing of Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich by the liberal-leaning Washington Post could make a difference in a race that is liable to go down to the wire. If the GOP weren't suffering from a 15-point deficit in the Congressional ballot two weeks before Election Day and a Republican president with a sub-40 job approval, Maryland's booming economy probably would have been enough to carry Ehrlich to reelection this year. But there is no question that the anti-GOP mood nationally is hurting Ehrlich in Maryland.


Given the Democratic Party's nearly two-to-one voter registration advantage in the state and the almost daily fight with an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature not at all used to dealing with a Republican Governor, Ehrlich has known since the day he took office that he would have a very difficult reelection.

Ehrlich's opponent, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, has led consistently in the polls all year long. But unlike gubernatorial contests in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Republicans were once optimistic about their chances but now see Democrats leading by 20-point margins, Mayor O'Malley has been unable to break away from Ehrlich. Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, one of the best firms for polling in Maryland, pegs Mr. O'Malley's lead at four points in its latest poll. The latest RCP Average in this race has O'Malley's lead at 7.5%.

After pulling off his 52% to 48% upset in 2002, Gov. Ehrlich has been studiously going around the traditional media outlets in Washington and Baltimore to maintain his support in the 21 of 24 counties that voted for him in 2002. Even though then-Democratic rival Kathleen Kennedy Townsend won 48% of the vote, she carried only Baltimore City and the two D.C. collar counties of Prince Georges and Montgomery.

Also helping Ehrlich is the very energetic Senate campaign being run by his Lt. Gov. Michael Steele against Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin. Steele appears to be tapping into considerable frustration in the black community over the manner in which Cardin was chosen by Democratic power brokers over former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume to replace the retiring Paul Sarbanes.

This brings us back to the Washington Post endorsement. Ehrlich has done a good job of keeping his core conservative base energized statewide and he's positioned to reap some benefit from Steele's campaign. But for Republicans to win statewide in Maryland, they have to win Independent and Democratic votes, and the surprise endorsement by the Post could be a catalyst to give some of those moderate Democrats and Independent voters a reason to stick with Ehrlich.

With the last three GOP gubernatorial candidates in Maryland winning a surprising 49.7% of the vote, this race is likely to be very, very close. It might be so close, in fact, that the Washington Post endorsement could make a difference on Election Day.

Links for More Information

More Analysis: Washington Post

State Newspaper Coverage: Baltimore Sun | Washington Post

State Parties: Md GOP | Md Dems

Polling Data

PollDateSampleEhrlich (R)O'Malley (D)Und.Spread
Final Results----46.252.7--O'Malley +6.5
RCP Average10/28 - 11/5--46.547.84.8O'Malley +1.3
SurveyUSA11/3 - 11/5663 LV47502O'Malley +3
Mason-Dixon11/1 - 11/3625 LV45459Tie
SurveyUSA10/31 - 11/2694 LV47482O'Malley +1
Rasmussen10/31 - 10/31500 LV48493O'Malley +1
Baltimore Sun10/28 - 10/30800 LV46475O'Malley +1
Garin Hart Yang (D)10/28 - 10/30905 LV4450--O'Malley +6
Zogby Interactive*10/23 - 10/27LV 4449--O'Malley +5
Rasmussen10/26 - 10/26500 LV47502O'Malley +3
Pub Op Str (R)10/25 - 10/26600 LV45468O'Malley +1
Washington Post10/22 - 10/261003 LV45550.0O'Malley +10
SurveyUSA10/15 - 10/17698 LV43494O'Malley +6
Zogby Interactive*10/10 - 10/16664 LV41526O'Malley +11
Rasmussen10/10 - 10/10500 LV45532O'Malley +8
USA Today/Gallup9/27 - 10/1678 LV41535O'Malley +12
Garin Hart Yang (D)9/26 - 9/27606 LV42517O'Malley +9
Mason-Dixon9/22 - 9/26625 LV43479O'Malley +4
Zogby Interactive*9/19 - 9/25--39528O'Malley +13
SurveyUSA9/17 - 9/19522 LV44512O'Malley +7
Potomac9/15 - 9/18815 LV44506O'Malley +6
Rasmussen9/13 - 9/13500 LV42497O'Malley +7
Zogby Interactive*8/29 - 9/5n/a 405317O'Malley +13
Gonzales Res.8/18 - 8/25843 LV424612O'Malley +4
Rasmussen8/9 - 8/9500 LV43505O'Malley +7
Pub Op Str (R)8/1 - 8/2500 RV414115Tie
Rasmussen7/10 - 7/10500 LV42496O'Malley +7
Potomac7/6 - 7/101200 LV384616O'Malley +8
Washington Post6/19 - 6/25902 RV39554O'Malley +16
Rasmussen4/18 - 4/18500 LV42514O'Malley +9
Gonzales Res.4/4 - 4/13819 RV414613O'Malley +5
Rasmussen1/10 - 1/10500 LV47428Ehrlich +5
Rasmussen11/16 - 11/16500 LV404610O'Malley +6
Potomac10/27 - 11/11008 LV334819O'Malley +15
Gonzales Res.10/17 - 10/21815 RV424810O'Malley +6
Rasmussen7/18 - 7/18500 LV464110Ehrlich +5
Potomac4/11 - 4/131000 LV394516O'Malley +6
Potomac1/4 - 1/5800 LV404020Tie